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Cervical cryosurgery (or cryotherapy) is a gynecological treatment that uses the extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen to destroy abnormal cervical cells that show changes that may lead to cancer. This surgery is only done after a colposcopy confirms the presence of abnormal cervical cells. Cyrotherapy is also used for the treatment of cervicitis, the inflammation of the cervix, but is not considered a treatment for cervical caner. Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure, and is often preferred to more traditional kinds of surgery because of its minimal pain, scarring, and cost. During the cryosurgery you will feel some slight cramping and might experience a hot or cold sensation.
Cryosurgery is an adequate treatment for most cases of cervical dysplasia, destroying all of the abnormal cervical tissue in over 85 percent of cases. However, when the cervical changes are located in the upper section of the cervix a cone biopsy, rather than cryotherapy, is recommended.
You can return to most normal activities the day after cryosurgery. However, there are a few things you should take note of for the first two (2) to three (3) weeks following treatment:
- It is normal to experience a watery discharge for the first few weeks which is caused by the sloughing of dead cervical tissue.
- Do not insert anything into the vagina for at least two to three weeks. This means no tampons, no douches, and no sexual intercourse.
You should inform Women & Teens Healthcare if you have:
- Vaginal bleeding that is heavier than you normally experience during your menstrual cycle.
- Severe or increasing pelvic pain (slight pain which is normal).
- A high fever.
- Foul smell or yellowish vaginal discharge.
Cryosurgery is relatively risk-free, producing fewer complications than any other gynecological procedure. After cryosurgery you will need pap smears every three to six months until you have had several normal Pap smears in a row. We will discuss with you how often you need future screening for cervical cancer.
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